Cardamom Shortbread

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The colorful bazaars, the beautiful mosques and the gorgeous Bosphorus river; Istanbul is a place filled with culture and never-ending beauty. Last April I had the opportunity to visit this marvelous city and could not get enough of it.

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The Blue Mosque
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Sailing on the Bosphorus

Of course, in addition to the eye-catching architecture and the tourist sites, the next best thing in Istanbul is the Turkish cuisine. Turkish cuisine originated from the Ottoman period and is a fusion of Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Central Asian and Balkan cuisine.

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Delicious Turkish Delights

We went for dinner at Tugra, a restaurant at Ciragan Palace Kempinski. The food was beyond this world. I tried the lentil and chickpea soup and vegetable skewers with pita. The main ingredients in Turkish food are the fragrant and colorful spices and a good place to find them is the Spice Market.

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Istanbul Spice Bazaar

Lastly, the one thing I loved about Turkey was the Turkish tea. It is the second most consumed beverage in the country, after water! It is generally served without milk in a glass cup.

Today’s post is inspired by tea. While thinking about Turkish tea, I thought I would make something that would be a good tea time snack. Here is the recipe for Cardamom Shortbread.

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Travel Diaries: Mumbai’s Britannia and Co.

Mumbai is described in several ways; from the city that never sleeps to the city of dreams. It is not only the financial capital of India but also the home to Bollywood, the fashion epicenter and the land of amazing food! I spent the last two weeks in Mumbai and had the opportunity to try out everything from street food to the high end restaurants.

          

Mumbai’s street food has been the city’s way of life for decades. Street vendors can be found at every corner of the city, spreading the aroma of delicious street food. In fact Mumbai is filled with streets dedicated to just food stalls; Khau gallis. It is always a treat to bite into Mumbai’s most famous vada pav near Mithibhai College, or take a mouth full of some pani puris.
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And when the time calls, you can enjoy some roadside chai or Irish coffee at Prithvi Cafe.

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Malai Paneer Tikka

Paneer Tikka

Since labor day is around the corner and everyone gets ready to fire up the grill, here is a recipe to try out. This recipe is one I had put up in my previous blog, but it is really good to resist sharing again. Paneer is one of my favorite ingredients, so here is a great appetizer that I love. Now paneer tikkas are best cooked on the Tandoor which is a clay oven used generally in a lot of North Indian cooking. However, since I don’t have one, I grilled my tikkas. Alternatively, you could use an oven as well.

In this recipe there are two things that I did to make the paneer soft and delicious. The malai itself is of course one of the things. However, one neat trick I learnt for packet paneer was to place it in a bowl of water and microwave it for about 1 minute. The longer you soak, the softer the paneer becomes. This works wonders!

Peach Cilantro Chutney

Paneer tikkas can be served as finger foods with chutney. I found this great recipe for the Peach Cilantro Chutney on a food blog by Kiran. It is a nice twist to the usual cilantro – mint chutney. Just to kick up the spice a little, I added some habanero peppers to my chutney.

Paneer Tikka

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Coconut Semifreddo

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Today is a special day for a special person in my life; it is my mom’s birthday! And while she is thousands of miles away from me, I thought I would celebrate her birthday by making something she loves eating – Coconut ice cream. She may not get to try it anytime soon, but I would like to dedicate this post to her. Happy birthday mom!

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I like to think that this is going to make my mom really proud of me. As a kid, my mom really tried to get me to learn to cook. She would push me to help her out in the kitchen and I absolutely hated it. Now, I have a food blog! Big leap.

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So today’s post is about Coconut Semifreddo. Semifreddo is an Italian word that means ‘half cold’. It is a name given to semi-frozen desserts. Now the great thing about this dessert is that it does not require an ice cream machine! I adopted this recipe from Nigella Lawson’s no churn ice cream . It is amazing that such an easy recipe creates a mouth watering, creamy and rich dessert. FullSizeRender Continue reading

Strawberry Mint Lemonade

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I know complaining about the Texas heat is not going to make it any better, but when the temperatures cross 100 degrees, you need something to cool you down. Perfect solution: Strawberry Mint Lemonade.

FullSizeRender(2)I have made this Strawberry Mint Lemonade a few times now, and find it to be really refreshing. Not to forget the health benefits of lemons including strengthening your immune system and as a blood purifier.

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This recipe is decently easy except of squeezing the fresh lemon juice. I found that to be quite of a workout of its own! If anyone has suggestions on the easiest way to do so, please do tell. Otherwise, I hope this recipe helps you beat the heat too!

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Tofu Lettuce Wraps with Mango Salsa

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The first time I tried lettuce wraps was at one of my favorite restaurants, P.F Chang’s. Their vegetarian lettuce wraps are delicious with the softness of tofu and the crunchiness of water chestnuts. It’s the perfect balance. However, for my lettuce wraps, I decided to use some of the fresh summer vegetables and fruits in the market.
FullSizeRender(1)I decided to top my tofu lettuce wraps with a mango salsa but added in some Serrano peppers to bring some heat. It created a delightful combination of sweet and savory.

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These tofu lettuce wraps with mango salsa create a vibrantly colored light summer meal. Give them a try and share your experience!

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Orange and Almond Verrine

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This is not my first attempt at a food blog. A couple of years ago, I started sharing some of my recipes but stopped when MBA and work took a toll on me (yes, I know, these are just excuses!). However, I hope to be better at it this time and follow through.

As my comeback, I decided to go with something sweet. Who doesn’t like dessert? Especially something cool and delicious to beat the summer heat.

Verrine is a french word that means small glass. They give you the opportunity to serve individual desserts. Verrines bring an interesting spin to presentation; the containers can be anything from shot glasses to coffee cups. Glass verrines allow you to display the various textures and layering in your dessert. In short, it is a great way to serve creamy desserts.

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 This recipe shows you how to make an enjoyable Orange and Almond yogurt cup. It is a great summertime dessert made with fresh oranges!

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